DES TURNER MP LYING AGAIN

THIS MAN TRYING TO COVER HIS TRACKS WHEN WE FOUND THIS WE COULD NOT BELIEVE OR EYES HERE HE IS GOING ON ABOUT HELPING WITNESS'S BUT HE NEVER CONTACTED JACK STRAW TO SAY WITNESS'S IN THE KATRINA TAYLOR CASE WHERE GETTING NO POLICE PROTECTION OUR VICTIM SUPPORT OUR HELP IN GETTING TO COURT

 

SEE HOUSE OF COMMONS HANSARD DEBATES FOR 17 JAN 2000 (pt4)

Witness Protection

15. Dr. Desmond Turner (Brighton, Kemptown): What measures he is taking to ensure that witnesses in magistrates courts are adequately protected. [103975]

The Minister of State, Home Office (Mr. Paul Boateng): The victim support scheme will be extending its activities to the magistrates courts. That will be of considerable assistance to witnesses who are victims appearing in magistrates courts. To enable the scheme to do this, we have increased incrementally by 50 per cent. to 19 million the grant made available to it, so that it can establish witness support services in all such courts by April 2002.

Dr. Turner: I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply. As I am sure he is aware, there is a very real and considerable problem of intimidation, not only of those who are victims as well as witnesses, but of witnesses, and not just in magistrates courts but in Crown courts. There are many and constant examples in my constituency. In a serious murder trial, for example, witnesses were literally in fear for their lives. The police do not have the resources to protect every witness, so in areas of my constituency there is a climate of fear: people dare not give evidence or give written statements for fear of reprisals. Will my right hon. Friend please undertake to review witness support and, in particular, protection?

DIRTY DES TURNER WHAT CASES ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT COULD THIS BE THE KATRINA TAYLOR MURDER YOU ARE THE LOWEST PIECE OF FILTH TO LIE OVER THE MURDER HOW MUCH DO YOU GET IN BACK HANDERS TO COVER UP CRIME.

 

Mr. Boateng: The police rightly give considerable priority to witness support and protection. We support them in that with the resources necessary to that end. More than that, it was this Government, as my hon. Friend knows, who introduced the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 precisely in order to address the problem that he has identified, which manifests itself in magistrates courts, including in cases of domestic violence and neighbour disputes. It is very important to ensure, as we have, that magistrates courts have a battery of protection that they can extend to witnesses. Without such support, we shall be unable effectively to reduce crime in the way that we are determined to do.

Mr. Nicholas Soames (Mid-Sussex): The right hon. Gentleman clearly and rightly takes this matter very seriously. Does he agree that witness intimidation hinders the good order and administration of honourable justice not only in murder cases, to which the hon. Member for Brighton, Kemptown (Dr. Turner) drew the House's attention, but in lesser cases? Does the Minister also agree that the only way in which we can prevent that is by ensuring more people on the ground, better planning and

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